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Zambia has for the first time commenced the export of lemon fruits to East African countries today.

This follows the granting of market access through the Kenyan Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) and the subsequent issuance of phytosanitary requirements for citrus fruits from Zambia to Kenya.

Sunsweet Produce Limited of Mkushi District in Central province shipped 25 metric tons of lemon fruits to Kenya as the first export to that country.

Director in the department of Plant Quarantine and Phytosanitary Service (PQPS) in the Ministry of Agriculture Dr. Kenneth Msiska said a pre-export inspection and issuance of a Phytosanitary certificate was conducted by his department to ensure compliance to the Kenyan regulations.

Dr. Msiska said more citrus fruits are expected to be exported to Kenya and other East African countries as the harvest season progresses.

He said Smallholder citrus producers who are particularly growing Valencia, Naval oranges, Eureka and Lisbon lemon varieties will have an opportunity to access the export markets through Sunsweet’s aggregation and processing arrangements in Mkushi.

Dr. Msiska has also advised fruit producers in the country to work closely with the Plant Quarantine and Phytosanitary Service (PQPS) in the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure they meet the export requirements.

And Sunsweet Produce Limited Chief Executive Officer Chris Morris said good agricultural policies that government has put in place, are creating an enabling environment for Zambian farmers to grow for export markets.

He said exporting citrus fruits to other countries is the best route to take, if the agriculture sector in Zambia is to attract foreign exchange and create employment for the locals.

Morris has urged small citrus producers in the country to work hand in hand with his company to ensure that the supply of citrus fruits is sustainably export to the market.

Last year, Zambia exported citrus fruits especially oranges to Rwanda, Uganda and the United Arab Emirates for the first time in the country’s history. NAIS

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Joshua Zulu

It's a good move, opening more markets for citrus 🍋🍊 fruits


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